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Chalfont St Peter

Chalfont St Peter:

Road: M25 between J16 and J17
Location: Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire
Other names: Warren Farm
Date planned: 1998, 2018-
Operator: Total, Extra
Grid reference: TQ018900 (SABRE Maps)
See also: Iver

Google Maps link

Long after it opened, services were planned in the north-west section of the M25, near Chalfont St Peter.

Very little is known about the original plan. It picked up the baton after the rejected options at Colnbrook and Iver. It became known as the Warren Farm debate, which eventually led to a public inquiry in which Beaconsfield and Cobham were chosen to be built instead.

There would have been services on either side of the busy motorway.

New Plans

In August 2017, Highways England started building a new exit on the M25 south of J17, which is to allow construction vehicles direct access to the High Speed 2 railway construction site. They claim the sliproads (which are very well-aligned) will only have 10 years service. In October 2018, Extra announced that they wanted to use this site in future to build a large service station, which would be very similar to Cobham.

Extra's plan (which they call Warren Farm) would not actually re-use the existing sliproads, but build a new trumpet-style interchange with a large loop. Facilities would be provided to the west of the motorway. The amenity building would be shaped like a giant leaf, with a grass roof except for another leaf-shaped glass section, all attached to the hotel by a glazed entrance. At the back would be a walk around a lake, feeding into a stream which would run down the middle of the car park.

The petrol station would have 36 car pumps and would also have a grass roof, as would the hotel. A large HGV parking area has been designated. A number of variations of the masterplan were published, experimenting with different building positions and road layouts.

Inside the building would have 12 units spread out around a central seating area, with toilets at the back. Two of those units would have a mezzanine area, with a business centre and offices joining them on the first floor. The hotel would have a dedicated restaurant area. As is common with Extra services, no brands have been named, as it would depend on what interest is received - but you can expect the interest to be similar to what's at Leeds.

Chiltern District Council are currently considering the plan. Local action group SENSE4CSP have outlined a number of objections, stating that there is no proven need for the development, and that its location is unsuitable. One complainant told the local newspaper that although she realised there were no plans to connect the service area to the local road network, she worried this would happen anyway and that it would create congestion.

Thames Valley Police have raised a more credible objection, explaining that the nearby service area at Beaconsfield creates a lot of work for them, and that they would expect this proposal to be similar. The problems at Beaconsfield appear to be exacerbated by the clientele the choice of brands attracts, and the easy access to an urban area.

Kings Langley Plan

In 2016 there were reports that Moto had been investigating the possibility of a service area in this area. This appeared to go away in favour of other planned sites, but they later revealed that they would be pursuing proposals for a service area and hotel at M25 J20, Kings Langley. This will be positioned off a new roundabout on the busy A41, with the building raised above the height of the road to offer an uninterrupted view across the valley.

In October 2018, as Extra's plans came into the public eye, Moto launched a mini-site for Kings Langley services. An official planning application was made in April 2019. Moto said they ruled out the Extra J17-J18 site because it's too small and too dependent on HS2. They also looked at building at either side of J17 and to the north of J20; all apparently too constrained.

The Kings Langley site is 9.02 hectares in size, and Moto say it will create 200 full-time jobs. The slope which the main building will be built on is artificial, as it's mostly made up of spoil from the M25 widening works in 2012. Using this slope means the delivery yard can be underneath the building. The lodge and petrol station will have grass roofs.

Space has been allocated for Greggs, Arlo's, M&S Simply Food, WHSmith, Costa, KFC, Burger King and a gaming arcade, as well as the usual petrol station, motel and drive-thru coffee shop. The motel, whose franchise hasn't yet been decided, will be a three-storey building set into the hillside, with 80 rooms.

Although Moto have called it Kings Langley services throughout the public planning process, they have suggested some stakeholders are pressing for it to open as Watford services.

As if having two competing plans wasn't enough, in February 2020, Buckinghamshire County Council threw their weight behind the idea of building a new service area on the M25 at Iver. The project, initiated by Welcome Break, has an advantage in that it already has support from the local authority, but it is being built in an area where previous proposals have already failed.

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